You don’t have to step one foot in the water or even bring your fishing rod to enjoy the Barrier Dam area of the Cowlitz River, where fishing is often an entertaining spectator sport. There is also a great variety of interesting birds to watch: Great Blue Herons, Bald Eagles, Belted Kingfishers, American Dippers, gulls and other LBJs (little brown jobs) are commonly seen picking fish carcasses clean, plucking small fish from the river, or picking up scattered eggs.
On Tuesday I watched as a flock of Canadian Geese flew upstream on the river and then made “whiffling” maneuvers to quickly lower their speed and altitude over the water and make a quick drop into the river behind the hatchery. When a goose “whiffles” he keeps his head steady and quickly twists his body to 90- to 180-degrees.
There are also plenty of fish to be seen on fine late summer days: